To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. - Eph. 3:8We usually approach the subject of evangelism with the question of trying to figure out what is the best way to try to reach a particular person or people group. Obviously, this is vital when preaching the gospel, and Paul dealt with the cultural nuances of His day "becoming all things to all men that He might win some". However, we tend to error on the side of being too culturally sensitive when sharing the gospel that we end up being humanistic in orientation. I am convinced there was something greater driving the heart of the Apostle Paul.
In Eph. 3:8 Paul sums up His ministry as preaching among the lost (gentiles) the unsearchable riches of Christ. So what does this mean? This means that Paul preached the glory of Christ; all treasures of wisdom and knowledge bound up within the incarnate Son of God; he preached Jesus! But the question you have to ask yourself is why? Was He driven by the fact that gentiles who didn't hear the gospel would end up on the wrong end of his own words, "God will take vengeance with flaming fire on all those who don't know God and don't obey the gospel?" Undoubtedly, yes He surely was motivated by wanting to save the lost from eternal suffering in a lake of fire, Romans 10:1 shows this for sure... "I will that I would be cut off so that my fellow countryman would be saved". However, I am convinced there was something deeper driving Paul.... I think He had a conviction that it was inherently WRONG for unsearchable riches of Jesus NOT to be proclaimed. In other words, I think Paul saw the Glory of Jesus as so high and lofty that whether or not people received the message, the worth of Christ demanded a clear witness of the unsearchable riches of His glory.
Just think about Paul seeing the Glory of Christ on the Road to Damascus.... The exalted Lord of Glory threw Him off His horse. When confronted with such glory and beauty I think Paul looked around at the state of Humanity.... how they were so ignorant of such a glorious Christ and He was propelled into preaching because of how unjust it is that men run around and are ignorant of the very one who upholds their breath. Humanities apathy, ignorance, disinterest and scorn for the Glory of God is the great fallacy of the ages. The greatest injustice of all time is Humanities desire to continually ignore the glory of God and the response that glory. I think Paul saw the Glory of Christ, just a glimpse, and His whole existence was flipped upside down to being driven by one thing... that I would know Him - the glorious, exalted, incarnate, messiah of God.
Beloved, the glory of Christ deserves a witness in the nations through our open proclamation not just through our continual worship, but as our beloved evangelist Hal Linheart says, "Jesus is worthy of continual adoration and proclamation." I want to be driven to share the gospel and preach Christ because He is the most worthy, most fascinating, most beautiful, most loving One and He alone deserves to be talked about continually all the time. Its not right that people don't talk about Him; Its not right that His name is used as a cuss word; Its not right that the Muslim world blasphemes His name day after day. (They have inscribed on their precious dome of the rock, "there is one God and He has no son"). And its not right that His glory is ignored day after day, when the witness of the serephim shows us that His glory demands the most incessant and continuous adoration and attention.
We usually asses whether or not we should open our mouth and preach Christ based on how we thing the other person is going to respond or receive the message. This is good a certain point. But beloved someone needs to be a witness to the nations of the unsearchable riches of Christ no matter the reaction of the masses. Christ must be preached to all nations as a WITNESS then the end will come. We usually say we are doing "friendship evangelism" waiting for the person to soften up and be open to the gospel, but the problem is that we end up not preaching Christ! Where is the burning witness in the nations of His incessant worth? Where are the ones that will stand up against the rage of the nations and declare the beauty of Christ? .....Whether or not it costs us our blood being spilled .......it is only right that Christ be proclaimed.
I stand convicted but I have not yet done it. I am full so self preservation and the fear of man just like the rest but I am contending for a clear and resounding witness to come forth from myself, my family and in whoever we can impact that will cause people everywhere to be confronted with the magnitude of the glory of Jesus of Nazareth. I pray that no matter the cost we will preach Christ, for the glory of Christ, that His fame and renown would be shouted from the rooftops.
I long for messengers like Isaiah to be released into the earth. Isaiah has the famous who will go for us encounter? The famous encounter that all the missions movements of the earth use. However, right after that God gives Isaiah the commission to go and preach to make the people hardened, blind, and unable to hear?!?! What? How can this be? isn't a preacher to reach people? Well of course he is, but the preacher is also to remove all the neutrality; the preacher is to be a signpost that causes men and women to reckon with the person of Christ; the preacher is to drive Jesus like a wedge into the heart of the hearer just like Peter on the day of Pentecost. Paul caused either riot or revival everywhere he went; there was not ambiguous response to the gospel, to the wicked and proud of heart it hardened them and prepped them for judgement; and for the righteous and humble of heart it evoked repentance. Beloved, If a sinner can enjoy being around you without being confronted and convicted of His sin then something is vastly wrong. I think we have lost the Apostolic witness and I long for the day when the church in tenderness, wrapped in mercy and grace begins to preach and proclaim the glory of Christ that will truly draw a line in the sand for the hearer. Away with humanistic Christianity; let Christ and His glory be our treasure our desire and our chief ambition.